Heterodox Christianity, Unitarianism and the Harmonization of Monotheism: The ‘Heresy’ of Khrīsṭufūrus Jibāra in Nineteenth-Century Syria

Wael Abu-ʿUksa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The article sheds light on the intellectual biography and theology of Khrīsṭufūrus Jibāra (d. 1901), a Christian Eastern Orthodox archimandrite who had a falling out with the church because of his controversial beliefs. Jibāra was born in Damascus and lived in Beirut, Cairo, Moscow, New York and Boston. He believed that harmonization between Christianity, Judaism and Islam would provide a remedy for religious conflicts and was a precondition for peace. Living in the second half of the nineteenth century, Jibāra developed a unique political theology that was shaped against a background of religious conflicts in Greater Syria, the Ottoman state policy of Pan-Islamism, and the global religious reaction to secularism. Influenced by ancient anti-Trinitarian Christian traditions and by contemporary puritan Unitarian theology, he developed a doctrine that he called ‘the straight path’, which challenged traditional Islam, traditional Christianity and secularism. His unique views shed light on the transreligious postulations of the reformist Islamic movement and present an exceptional attempt to reform Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)361-382
Number of pages22
JournalIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 University of Birmingham.

Keywords

  • Christopher Jibara
  • Khrīsṭufūrus Jibāra
  • heterodox Christianity in Syria
  • nahḍa
  • religious harmonization

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